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Finding out that you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can be frightening and overwhelming.

The good news is that most sexually transmitted infections can be cured and almost all can be managed with medication. However you might find that counselling can help you come to terms with the diagnosis of an STI.

The benefits of counselling

Discovering that you have a sexually transmitted infection can trigger powerful emotions that can be hard to deal with. 

It can be hard dealing with the reactions of friends and other family members too, and even figuring out if or when you should tell them. You may also have to make significant changes to your life in order to stay healthy and protect others around you.

Speaking with a counsellor trained in matters of sexual health could help you cope. This can be done over the phone in some cases but it's usually best done face-to-face.

The counsellor will work through any areas you're finding difficult and assist you in resolving any feelings you find troublesome. 

A few sessions with a counsellor will help you understand more clearly what you need to do and when it's best to do it and help you gather the emotional strength to get through it.

Relationships and sex counselling

Relationship counselling can help overcome a number of relationship and sexual problems, whether you seek help alone or with your partner you might find it helpful to have someone to facilitate you as you work through your challenges.

Where can I find a counsellor?

Your doctor or staff at your sexual health service should offer you counselling in the event of a positive result. If not, ask them about seeing a counsellor.

You may also be able to arrange to see a counsellor through local projects and charities such as LGBT drop-in centres.

To find your nearest counsellor, search our services directory.

You can also arrange for counselling privately. To find one, search for local sexual health counsellors on the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy website or Relationships Scotland

For more information call  0800 22 44 88 or use our sexual health service finder to look for help in your area.